Khan Academy flips Indianapolis classrooms

MARION COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – It’s been dubbed ‘flipping the classroom’ and it’s happening right here in Indianapolis.

Khan Academy is an online library of lessons, available to anyone for free. The program’s goal is to revolutionize the classroom.

Since its start in 2006, millions have logged on, and now entire schools are using the portal; including one Indianapolis charter school.

“It’s really fun to play games and earn points,” Aiden Garrett said.

He’s 6-years-old and a 1st grade student at the Indianapolis Academy of Excellence. He says math is his favorite subject.

“On Khan Academy we learn about problems and addition signs,” Aiden said.

Aiden and his classmates, spend about 45 minutes a day using Khan Academy. His teacher says it works because kids can’t move on from one lesson until they’ve mastered it, so students aren’t left confused later on.

“Everyone’s doing something different, which is helpful for my students,” 1st grade teacher Kylie Myers said.

While students work, Myers keeps a close eye on progress.

“I get that data right then and there,” Myers said.

Through Khan Academy, her computer is constantly crunching the data to see which kids need help. When a student is struggling she can step in right away.

“Since they can work independently on it, I have that time to have that one-on-one with them,” Myers said.

The Khan Academy started when its founder Salman Khan used YouTube to tutor his nieces and nephews.

While some may think Khan Academy is replacing valuable teachers, Myers says it’s enhancing her roll in the students’ learning.

“It gives me the time to pull small groups for struggling students,” Myers said.

And with thousands of lessons available online, Khan Academy is even expanding to provide college prep support.

“A lot of students just don’t understand how to navigate the system. How much does it cost? How do you apply for financial aid? What essay are the universities looking for? What scores matter? How do you prepare for the standardized tests?” Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, said last year.

Khan Academy has now been adopted by schools across the nation, but anyone can use the free website at home and at any age. At last check, there were more than six million users.

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